Not many major horrors this weekend…

Maybe even dictatorships need a rest occasionally. Some fresh and wholesome links…

Quartz on the SCMP’s likely course if/when/as it passes from Jack Ma to a more dependable CCP-supporting owner. Given the context of the overall rectification of Hong Kong, it is inevitable that the pro-Beijing slant of much of the op-eds, editorials and commentary will creep into the news reporting. The question is how subtle it will be: will the new owners aim to please the CCP by producing laughable propaganda (a la China Daily HK), or will they do a more skilful job of trying to convince readers of the rightness and credibility of the PRC’s official line?  

The real media question is how the CCP will dispose of Apple Daily. While Beijing plots its vengeance, Kevin Carrico writes on declining academic freedom in Hong Kong…

Is it ok to discuss Hong Kong independence if you are not openly advocating this idea? Can we discuss Taiwan’s history and current reality without having to pretend that China’s claims make sense? Can we discuss human rights in Hong Kong and current sanctions against officials without overstepping the bounds of regime security? 

Probably paywalled, but the Economist has a good report on Beijing’s demolition and redevelopment of Hong Kong, including comments from your friendly think-tanker Tian Feilong… 

As for the hundreds of thousands who joined the protest movement, Mr Tian trusts that education reforms will produce a new generation of youngsters who understand China and love it. He has blunter advice for those too old for school and stubbornly wedded to liberal values. “I think they will experience a painful psychological transition, in other words, they will have to re-educate themselves.”

Such CCP charm was also in display at the recent Sino-US strategic dialogue summit. A not-bad analysis in The Atlantic of the event in Alaska… 

The meeting would have been a failure if it had resulted in general declarations to cooperate while minimizing competition, a common U.S. strategy when China’s intentions were not as clear.

If the Biden administration’s people have a less misty-eyed view of China than they might have once, Foreign Policy reminds of us of one big reason (of several): a damning indictment of Beijing’s cover-up of Covid-19.

Like the SCMP, Chinese youth are also coming to terms with life after Jack Ma and Alibaba. What will the kids get into after online fetishized debt-creating consumerism? Something wholesome like sex, drugs and rock n roll? Nope.

And some pictures after being put through a particularly horrifying app. Which one will be hardest to unsee?

(The answer to Friday’s quiz – the country with the second-highest percentage of 100-year olds – as Google-users quickly determined, is Uruguay. Is that because: a) most under-50s have emigrated or otherwise vanished; b) it was the first country to legalize marijuana; or c) there’s something in the water?  

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6 Responses to Not many major horrors this weekend…

  1. Joe Blow says:

    After many years, my fitness club has cancelled the SCMP subscription. The extended lockdowns are forcing them to have a hard look at their expenses, I guess. But I can still look at the pictures of the Apple Daily.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Apparently there’s a perfect example of how one would re-educate him/herself right here in the China Digital Times article:

    “When government regulators cracked down on Ma and his fintech empire last fall, Shen decided to cut back and reclaim her former frugal self. She bought only a few items during Ma’s annual online shopping extravaganza. She turned to binge-watching anti-capitalist videos and played the left-wing anthem “The Internationale” on repeat.
    “Through baptism in the spirit of communism, I controlled my desire to consume,” Shen said.”

    Learn from this example, Hong Kongers!

  3. D3SH says:

    I laugh at suggestions that the SCMP isn’t already a dependable propaganda partner for the CCP, what with Comrade Latrine managing the news desk and Alex Lo providing his usual unbiased, trenchant insights from his bunker in Vancouver.

    Yes, they covered the protests but they really made sure to frame the protesters in the least favourable light. And the occasional OP-ED that’s critical of the party line is but a flimsy fig leaf.

  4. Eric Blair says:

    Jack Ma has not been seen in person in public since 24 October 2020, the day he criticised Chinese financial industry regulators and shortly before the Ant Financial Group IPO was pulled by President Xi.

    Is there still anyone out there who believes that there are such things as a private company or private wealth in China?

    They’ll have the shirt off your back if they want it.

  5. Big Al says:

    SCMP headline: “Hong Kong leader blasts vaccine fearmongering, smear campaign against Sinovac jab”, saying “I would condemn people who are using social media or other means to spread false information, engage in alarmist behaviour and even smear the domestically made vaccines”. Isn’t this what the CCP accused Li Wenliang of when he alerted people to COVID-19 back in December 2019? Do the CCP never learn?

  6. jackoff says:

    Jack Ma was seen in public on multiple occasions in the past two months. Need to update your reading regime, Mr. Eric Blair.

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